The Nirvana Song That Was Inspired By Kurt Cobain’s Tragic Life
People make wishes whenever a star shoots from the sky because they consider it a unique moment that they were lucky enough to catch. In the arts, whenever a star falls, it is regarded as a tragedy. Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin are among the stars that fell and left the world in despair. When Nirvana’s iconic singer Kurt Cobain decided to take his own life, one of the brightest stars left the sky.
He passed away in April 1994 at the age of 27, and his death was ruled a suicide based on the evidence. Even though not all fans were convinced, Cobain left a suicide note that expressed why he was not willing to live anymore. In the letter, he penned the lack of desire and pleasure he used to take from music, which was the thing he loved the most. However, the iconic singer experienced more problems throughout his life that led him to take this final decision.
What Was Kurt Cobain Struggling With?
Cobain’s parents divorced when he was nine years old, and this marked the beginning of his psychological struggles. He was initially described as a happy child who cared a lot about other people, but his personality started to change after his parents’ divorce. The excited and happy Cobain turned into an introvert and kept his thoughts to himself.
After stepping into the music industry, he achieved great success and fame with Nirvana and was too involved with his fame and fortune. Towards the end of his life, Cobain started to feel like he didn’t enjoy music and didn’t want to fool people anymore. He stated this feeling in his suicide note, which he had addressed to his imaginary friend Boddah.
Boddah must have been there for him throughout his life after his divorce and kept him in peace. He struggled with depression most of his life and tried to handle it using drugs, but the attempt backfired. The more he used drugs, the more he became suicidal and had his first attempt at suicide in March 1994 was with a mixture of champagne and Rohypnol. The media captured the musician’s depressed state multiple times when he was spotted almost crying, upset, and often smoking a cigarette.
Kurt Cobain’s melancholic state is undoubtedly reflected in his writing, art, and performances. If you listen to Nirvana’s songs, written mainly by Cobain himself, they are usually melancholic, and the lyrics have a depth in them that makes them different from mainstream rock and roll music. His lyrics often portrayed depressed personas trying to enjoy life, perhaps can even be described as ‘dark.’ The Nirvana song ‘Something in the Way’ was also inspired by one of the tragedies he had to go through when he was young.
The Event That Inspired ‘Something In The Way’
Cobain wasn’t a kid who had good grades in school, and after he found out that he wasn’t going to graduate as he didn’t have enough credits, he dropped out of high school. Because he didn’t have a job and he wasn’t a graduate, his mother packed all of his stuff into boxes and kicked him out of the house.
Following this, he began living on the streets and trying to survive with no money. Even though he sneaked back into his mother’s basement or stayed at his friends’ places from time to time, there was one spot he lived in while he was homeless that inspired ‘Something in the Way.’
Living under a bridge of the Wishkah River in Washington, Cobain managed to survive at a very muddy, uncomfortable place and even be inspired by it to write a song. ‘Something in the Way’ states that something is always in the way of making him feel better. The song also mentions a bridge in which a ‘Tarp has sprung a leak,’ and ‘Living off of grass,’ referring to the challenging circumstances he lived under.
At that time, he spray-painted these lyrics on the bridge wall, which was later painted over by the city. After his tragic condition passed and he became a worldwide known rockstar, he recorded the song with Nirvana and released it in ‘Nevermind.’ Contrary to any other Nirvana song, they added cello to the composition and gave their fans something different, perhaps emotional. In 2020, ‘Something in the Way’ appeared in the trailer for the most recent Batman movie and reminded the world how deep and timeless Cobain’s music was.
Listen to ‘Something in the Way’ below.